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Philly Is Fun For the Very Young!

One thing I love about living in a metropolitan city is that there is never a lack of things to do.  Every Saturday, Ayva and I get up and out the door no later than 8:30 to hit the town.  Sometimes we take the bus, sometimes we take the train, one thing we always do is have fun.  Being able to explore the City of Brotherly Love with my toddler is such a joy.  As we continue to celebrate The Week of the Young Child here at Casa de Brandi y Ayva, I want to share our favorite places in Philadelphia.
I’ve written about The Academy of Natural Science before.  It’s really a great place for young children because the animals stay still so little one can get a good look at them.  Unlike the zoo where you might see a giraffe, or you might see a bear, you’re guaranteed to be able to check out some of the coolest ever animals up close here! Not only that, there’s dinosaurs, and we all know toddlers love dinosaurs.  Ayva was especially enchanted when we discovered a dino at the Academy of Natural Sciences called the “Avasaurus”!
Since Ayva is so young, I was a little weary of taking her to The Franklin Institute, but I had no reason to be.  Although all most of the scientific concepts were way over her head, I believe you’re never too young to be introduced to science.  The exhibits are totally interactive, so it didn’t matter that she can’t explain how the heart works (yet), she got to climb inside one and hear a heartbeat from the “inside”.  That’s what Mama calls planting the seed!
Speaking of planting seeds, the Philadelphia Flower Show is one of Philadelphia’s best treasures. Every year, the convention center in Center City completely transforms, and is filled with some of the most phenomenal floral masterpieces anyone has ever seen!  It’s horticulture meets art meets decadence, truly.  I have taken Ayva to the Flower Show for the past two years, and this year, she kept asking for me to take her back!  The tickets aren’t cheap, but the experience of being surrounded by those delicious colors and textures and smells is such a great outing for little ones, it’s totally worth it.
Everything cool isn’t downtown, though. The Little Treehouse in Chestnut Hill is a super place to take young children when you don’t want a low-key day out.  Filled with wooden toys, baskets of books and stuffed animals, this place is a dream for toddlers…and moms. I often go there with Ayva and my laptop.  It’s the only place that I can go to get a little work done and not feel guilty that she might be bored. Ayva has taken gymnastics there for awhile, and the classes are great at wearing her out a super way to help her motor skills develop.  There’s free wifi, all of seating allows you to see the entire play space, and the coffee is outrageously good.
Totally unpretentious and absolutely free, ask anyone who’s been there, and they’ll tell you that Smith Playground is awesome!  It’s simply a playground.  Actually, there are 2, a tot lot for young children, and another playground for older children. The Playhouse is filled with sweet, nostalgic toys that little ones love to play with, and that I remembered from when I was a child! Smith’s has an age limit of 10, so it’s really a safe place where young children don’t have to worry about getting knocked over or pushed aside.  Oh, and there’s a huge wooden slide that was built in 1905 that you have to see to believe!
Where do you like to go with your young child?  Is there anywhere that your little one loves to visit?  Share with me! I’d love to know more!